Linoleum Cuts…

I haven’t attempted linoleum cuts since 1983. Back then I remembered how to do it from having done several just a couple of years earlier. After all this time, my recent foray has felt like an expedition into a long forgotten world, a complete exploration with not much in the memory banks about it except “get linoleum, cut it, ink it, print it.”

As I cut the designs into the linoleum I felt more and more of how this worked, but clearly I don’t have it really figured out yet. I’m sticking with the apple motif because you know I’m pretty familiar with apples at this point.

I printed green first and then red. I’m doing another round with the red first and then the green.

Second round: green on red. It IS better.

Red on green top; Green on red, bottom

There was no reason for me to attempt something this complex except that I wanted to see if I remembered how to do it. Anyway they are failures from one point of view, but since what I am doing is trying to regain a lost skill, I think they’re successes. 🙂

These are the linocuts I made in 1984. I honestly thought they were masterpieces of the linocut trade back then, but they’re not. They do show me, however, that I DID know how to do this. 🙂

Images from China, linoleum cuts, 1984

The linoleum I’m using is a little different — it’s softer which means the edges are less sharp. If I continue, I’ll probably get different linoleum. I didn’t even remember what kind of paper would be best other than that heavy watercolor paper was challenging to work with. I have an assortment of papers — handmade papers from Nepal, Japan and Bhutan. I played around with them and discovered that the best image showed up on the paper I got for my pastel drawing experiments.

I need to get on the Christmas Card Production Business. The Christmas show at the local museum opens on November 20 and Christmas cards sell well. Many people don’t know that before Christmas trees, people put up Paradise Trees. An evergreen tree with a single apple. This represented to them that with the birth of Christ, people were returned to the Garden of Eden. I love that.

Yesterday I baked my apple models into a pie that was completely unworthy of them. It was the worst pie I’ve ever tasted. BUT the new oven worked well and that’s something.

12 thoughts on “Linoleum Cuts…

  1. Sorry your pie was a disappointment. I did linoleum cuts in HS too. Our art dept. didn’t have a lot of funds so we could only print in 2 colors and the choices were black, royal blue, or red. I’m not sure where my prints or the linoleum squares have gone… I like your experiment even if you think them less than perfect.

    • I like my experiment, too. Sometime in the late 70’s I was doing linocut landscapes and sold them to a law firm. I have NO idea how I did that. BUT I have nothing to lose so here we go!!!!!

    • Thank you — yeah it was pretty interesting seeing what I remembered of this. I have two more pieces of this “soft” linoleum and I might try another one. I think the “real” linoleum is a better material, but it’s a poor workman who blames his tools. 😀

      • i definitely agree, it makes a big difference which linoleum you use. i once used a part of a floor and that was wonderful to use. maybe because it has been treated all over the years.

        • One problem with the linoleum I used is that it has no backing. In the past I used “real” linoleum that had a woven hemp backing. This was possibly more pliable than I expected. I have some floor linoleum in the garage. Maybe I should try it!

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